Remembering ‘Bard Of Brahmaputra’ & Musical Maestro – Bhupen Hazarika On His 11th Death Anniversary 

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Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast
NET Web Desk

The legendary music maestro and one of the most revered music artists of the country – Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, is being fondly remembered on his 11th death anniversary.

Popularly known as the ‘Bard of Brahmaputra’, Dr. Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926, in the Sadiya town of Assam.

The Bharat Ratna recipient was born into a family of artists and was introduced to folk music at a very young age. Turned out to be a musical prodigy, Hazarika created his first original piece of art at the age of 13.

The weaver of music, Hazarika donned many hats, including – a poet, music composer, lyricist, singer, actor, journalist, author, and filmmaker.

One of the most celebrated artists of India, Hazarika’s talents was first spotted by noted Assamese lyricist Jyotiprasad Agarwala and artist Bishnu Prasad Rabha.

After receiving early education from high schools of Guwahati, Dhubri, and Tezpur, Hazarika then pursued his BA degree in 1944 and MA degree in political science in 1946 from the Benaras Hindu University (BHU).

Three years later, he joined Columbia University, New York, and earned his doctoral degree in 1952. In New York, Hazarika met Paul Robeson, a prominent civil rights activist, who influenced him to compose the famous song Bistirno Parore based on the imagery and theme of Robeson’s Ol’ Man River.

Considered one of his revered compositions, this song was later translated into various Indian languages.

Later, he turned into a filmmaker and created some of the award-winning Assamese films Shakuntala Sur (1961) and Pratidhwani (1964). Some of his directorial ventures include Lati-Ghati (1966), Chik Mik Bijuli (1969), For Whom the Sun Shines (1974), and Mera Dharam Meri Maa (1976).

One of his major contributions to Hindi cinema was composing music for well-known films such as Arop, Ek Pal, and Rudaali. He won the Best Music Director National Award for Rudaali in 1993.

Hazarika has been the recipient of Padma Shri (1977), Padma Bhushan (2001), Padma Vibhushan (2016), and Dadasaheb Phalke Award(1992). He also received the National Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese (1961) and for Best Music Direction for Chameli Memsaab (1975). Also the recipient of both the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987) and the Akademi Fellowship (2008), Hazarika was also honored with Asom Ratna, Assam’s highest civilian award (2009).

The legend passed away in Mumbai on November 5, 2011, and was cremated near the Brahmaputra river in a plot of land donated by Gauhati University.

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, AYUSH – Sarbananda Sonowal offered his deep respects to Bhupen Hazarika at National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune.

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